Beitzel earns AP All-America honors
GREELEY -- Northern Colorado senior guard Devon Beitzel added yet another honor to his illustrious career Monday when he was named to the Associated Press Honorable Mention All-America team.
Beitzel, who averaged a NCAA Division I school-record 21.5 points per game this season and ranks 12th in the country in scoring, is Northern Colorado's second Division I All-America student-athlete, joining wrestler Justin Gaethje, who was an All-American in 2010.
The AP All-America basketball team, consisting of First, Second, Third and Honorable Mention selections, is composed from votes from the Associated Press, National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), Sporting News and United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA).
Beitzel's Monday honor came on the heels of his selection in late February as just the second Academic All-American in Northern Colorado men's basketball history and the first in more than 40 years.
He's also one of 10 finalists for this year's men's basketball Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. He'll join the other finalists this weekend at the Final Four in Houston, where the winner will be announced.
"What makes Devon Beitzel special more than any other thing is that he doesn't hold himself to standards that your typical Division I athlete does," Northern Colorado coach B.J. Hill said. "He just doesn't accept an average effort from himself, whether it is on the court, off the court or whatever.
"That is what makes Devon, Devon more than anything else. He refuses to be average and wills himself to be exceptional. That is why he's made himself into the player that he has."
Beitzel was selected earlier this month the 2011 Big Sky Conference MVP after leading the Bears to their first NCAA Tournament appearance in just their fourth year of NCAA Division I postseason eligibility. He scored a school Division I-record 687 points and made 90 percent of his free throws in 2010-11, the seventh-best mark in the nation.
He led Northern Colorado in scoring in 26 of its 32 contests this season and scored 25 or more points 13 times, including putting in a game-high 25 against second-seed San Diego State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament earlier this month in Tucson, Ariz.
"Devon was everything for us on a team that won the league," Northern Colorado coach B.J. Hill said. "Obviously he's in a group of really good players, but his numbers speak for themselves."
Seniors dominated the All-America first team for the first time in five years, with seniors Jimmer Fredette of BYU, Nolan Smith of Duke and JaJuan Johnson of Purdue joining junior Kemba Walker of Connecticut and freshman Jared Sullinger of Ohio State.
It's the most seniors since four made the 2006 first team.
Marcus Morris of Kansas led the second team and was joined by Derrick Williams of Arizona, Ben Hansbrough of Notre Dame, Jordan Taylor of Wisconsin and Kawhi Leonard of San Diego State.
Fredette and Johnson were both on the preseason All-America team, along with Kyle Singler of Duke, Jacob Pullen of Kansas State and Harrison Barnes of North Carolina.
- 2011 Big Sky Conference MVP
- Academic All-America First Team selection -- Northern Colorado's second in men's basketball and first in more than 40 years
- One of 10 national finalists for Lowe's Senior CLASS Award
- Three-time Big Sky Conference Player of the Week (Jan. 3, Feb. 21, March 3)
- Scored a NCAA Division I school-record 687 points
- 21.5 points per game -- 12th in the nation
- Made 90.4 percent of free throws -- 7th in the nation
- Finished career with 1,568 points -- 3rd in school history
- Scored 25 or more points 13 times and led team in scoring 26 out of 32 games
- Averaged 26.4 points in Northern Colorado's final 10 games
- Jimmer Fredette, BYU, 6-2, 195, senior, Glens Falls, N.Y., 28.5 ppg, 4.2 apg, 40.4 3-pt fg pct, 89.1 ft pct. (64 first-place votes, 323 points).
- Nolan Smith, Duke, 6-2, 185, senior, Upper Marlboro, Md., 21.3 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 5.2 apg, 81.6 ft pct. (61, 315).
- Jared Sullinger, Ohio State, 6-9, 280, freshman, Columbus, Ohio, 17.2 ppg, 10.1 rpg, 53.6 fg pct. (58, 311).
- Kemba Walker, Connecticut, 6-1, 172, junior, Bronx, N.Y., 23.5 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 4.3 apg, 1.9 steals, 37.5 minutes (51, 297).
- JaJuan Johnson, Purdue, 6-10, 221, senior, Indianapolis, 20.5 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 81.5 ft pct, 2.3 blocks (44, 277).
- Marcus Morris, Kansas, 6-9, 235 junior, Philadelphia, 17.3 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 58.7 fg pct. (14, 208).
- Derrick Williams, Arizona, 6-8, 241, sophomore, La Mirada, Calif., 19.1 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 61.5 pg pct, 60.3 3-pt fg pct. (16, 205).
- Ben Hansbrough, Notre Dame, 6-3, 203, senior, Poplar Bluff, Mo., 18.5 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 4.3 apg, 44.1 3-pt fg pct, 81.4 ft pct. (7, 184).
- Jordan Taylor, Wisconsin, 6-1, 195, junior, Bloomington, Minn., 18.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 4.7 apg, 43.3 3-pt fg pct, 84.9 ft pct, 4.2 a/to ratio (2, 122).
- Kawhi Leonard, San Diego State, 6-7, 225, sophomore, Riverside, Calif., 15.4 ppg, 10.7 rpg. (2, 107).
- Jordan Hamilton, Texas, 6-7, 220, sophomore, Compton, Calif., 18.6 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 2.1 apg. (1, 84).
- Kenneth Faried, Morehead State, 6-8, 228, senior, Newark, N.J., 17.6 ppg, 14.5 rpg, 64.4 fg pct, 2.4 blocks, 2.0 steals (2, 72).
- Jacob Pullen, Kansas State, 6-0, 200, senior, Maywood, Ill., 19.5 ppg, 3.7 apg, 1.7 steals. (1, 68).
- Tu Holloway, Xavier, 6-0, 185, junior, Hempstead, N.Y., 20.2 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 5.5 apg, 38.4 minutes, 86.9 ft, pct, 1.5 steals (0, 45).
- Marshon Brooks, Providence, 6-5, 200, senior, Stone Mountain, Ga., 24.6 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 1.5 steals (1, 32).
Harrison Barnes, North Carolina; Talor Battle, Penn State; Devon Beitzel, Northern Colorado; Keith Benson, Oakland; Solomon Bozeman, UALR.
Alec Burks, Colorado; Gilberto Clavell, Sam Houston State; Norris Cole, Cleveland State; Malcolm Delaney, Virginia Tech; Austin Freeman, Georgetown.
Ashton Gibbs, Pittsburgh; Andrew Goudelock, College of Charleston; Justin Greene, Kent State; Dwight Hardy, St. John`s; John Holland, Boston U.
Ken Horton, Central Connecticut State; Reggie Jackson, Boston College; Rick Jackson, Syracuse; Charles Jenkins, Hofstra; John Jenkins, Vanderbilt.
Aaron Johnson, UAB; Terrence Jones, Kentucky; Trevele Jones, Texas Southern; Brandon Knight, Kentucky; Jon Leuer, Wisconsin.
Mickey McConnell, Saint Mary`s; E`Twaun Moore, Purdue; Markieff Morris, Kansas; Mike Muscala, Bucknell; Chandler Parsons, Florida.
C.J. Reed, Bethune-Cookman; Ryan Rossiter, Siena; Jesse Sanders, Liberty; Kyle Singler, Duke; Mike Smith, East Tennessee State.
Isaiah Thomas, Washington; Tristan Thompson, Texas; Nikola Vucevic, Southern California; Brad Wanamaker, Pittsburgh; Casper Ware, Long Beach State.
Kyle Weems, Missouri State; Taj Wesley, Utah State; Jordan Williams, Maryland; Isiah Williams, Utah Valley; Keith Wright, Harvard.